The T82 is a great tank. Currently regarded as one of the most powerful vehicles at Tier III, when it is equipped with its top-gun howitzer it is able to one-shot pretty much all Tier III and a lot of Tier IV vehicles. If I were starting now I would most likely have fallen in love with the T82 much like I did with the Marder II.
The most difficult thing to adjust to is the lack of armour. The Tier II T18 which precedes this tank is very well armoured for this tier. In comparison the T82 has relatively weak armour. If one does not fix this fact early on it can easily lead to over-aggressive play and some very unsatisfying deaths (mea maxima culpa). The fact that it has a fair turn of speed makes an over-aggressive death easier.
What weaknesses there are, however, are more than compensates by the howitzer. Effectively using a howitzer can take some practice – and in particular one just has to accept that at distance one is sometimes just going to miss. The longer reload times need to be taken into consideration too, but as one gets used to this they become less drawbacks more “features”.
I have now played 17 battles in the T82, with 12 victories and a total of 34 destroyed. Given this all took place with a crew that started at 75% I think it shows what this tank can be capable of. Another example of this can be seen in the medals I have, a Top Gun, Defender, and De Langlade’s Medal, all of which I earned in the same game. It is actually quite a fun tale.
It was a Tier IV Encounter battle on the Sand River map – my team were starting on the western side of the map. I was playing the match with my brother, who was in a T-46. We were distinctly at the bottom of the pile – 11 tanks on each side were Tier IV. To begin with my brother and I formed up with a B1 to head towards the top of the map whilst most of the rest of the team headed either towards the base or the ridge overlooking the base.
The first part of the battle for us was a fight for this northern area, which pitted the three of us against a Panzer 38t and a M5A1 Stuart. The Panzer 38t I dispatched with one shot whilst he stood silhouetted on a ridgeline. The M5A1, however, was a much trickier target, evading the B1, ducking behind a lip of land before I could aim, and so on. Eventually though it came down to a game of peekaboo – which never works well when your opponent can one-shot you when he hits. Which is what happened to him.
By this time our team had won the initial fight around the base, but lost the skirmish on the ridge above it. It was plain that the enemy, with the superior firing positions, were starting to demolish the rest of the team. We three then starting to do what we could to undermine the enemy – the B1 sniped from atop a hill. I struggled for what seemed like an age, but in reality was probably only 15-20 seconds, with getting out of a groove in the ground and then I moved southward to crest a big sand-dune which gave me a good firing position. This proved fairly effective, and a Medium Mk II and Panzer III fell to my derp. The rest of the enemy team cleared that ridge, and now (apart from us) only one or two of our team’s tanks remained the enemy now tried to swarm the cap. This meant the three of us now moved southward to occupy the ridge the enemy had just vacated.
My brother and I headed straight for the ridge, the B1 went wide to actually cross over onto that half of the map. We were just taking up firing positions, my brother indeed had just fired a shot, and suddenly both our computers froze up. This sometimes happens to me in World of Tanks – the ping goes to 999 and nothing happens. It is essentially a disconnect. I generally find a quick restart of the client does the trick. So I restart the client.
I log back in to find my brother destroyed, along with every other tank on our team apart from myself and the B1. The cap-counter is in the 70s, which very soon gets reset by the B1 down to the 40s. In other words, a little more time. I am amazed I am alive. On reflection I think the fact I had not fired after getting on the ridge helped hide me, and the fact I was in a small depression in the ground made it harder to see me. Nevertheless, there is work to be done.
A small reposition and I have a good view of the base area. My first target is a M8A1, and it goes boom. Next a Panzer 38 nA which leaves itself exposed, and soon regrets doing so. A Panzer III is damaged by the B1, and then I finish it off. The last enemy tank is a Matilda, which unlike its team-mates knows how to take cover behind buildings. Fortunately the buildings are destructible. It takes two shots, the first to remove the cover, but then he dies too.
Given how close we were to losing, I must admit of being very chuffed to have helped pull this chestnut out of the fire. Especially considering the disconnect. I earned 133 base defence points, the most I have ever earned in a single battle, which I must admit gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Also my first ever de Langlade’s Medal. What enabled me to do this however, most certainly, was the ability to one-shot pretty much everything I came across – because that meant they had little opportunity to fire back at me.
Certainly after a match such as this the temptation to keep this tank is very strong. In the short term I am not intending to do so, as I need the garage slot to progress further up the USA turretless TD line. The one consideration that may make me not end up keeping it is the fact I already have a Tier III TD in my Marder II. Nevertheless the two tanks do not play the same. We shall see – I have a lot of Tier III tanks to go yet.